How Incidents of Family Violence Affect Child Custody

How Incidents of Family Violence Affect Child Custody

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

Family violence is an unfortunately common problem in Illinois, occurring between married couples and those unmarried but living together. It can involve actual physical acts, such as:

  • Hitting
  • Punching
  • Pushing
  • Choking threats
  • Sexual assault
  • Abuse
  • Damage to property

When children are involved, it can be particularly devastating, even if they are not the actual targets of the abuse, and is a definite issue if the couple breaks up in determining child custody. The Chicago child custody attorneys at Gordon & Perlut, LLC., explain what you need to know if you or someone you love is in this type of situation.

Family Violence In Illinois

Family violence can happen to anyone and crosses all ethnicities, races, religions, and socioeconomic lines. According to the Illinois Council Against Domestic Violence (ICADV), it impacts more than 50,000 people throughout the state, with over 6,000 of these being child witnesses.

Family violence often begins with yelling, screaming, doing damage to property and personal belongings and eventually escalates to physical harm. While the abuser may not target your children, they can still be profoundly affected by it. Seeing family violence in the home and living with the fear and uncertainty of when it is going to happen again can cause your child to exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Sleep disturbances and problems such as bedwetting.
  • Anxiety disorders and symptoms, such as clinginess, nail-biting, stuttering, and pulling out hair.
  • Depression and isolation, impacting their ability to make friends.
  • Eating and digestive disorders, which can have long-term impacts on their health.
  • Increased frustration and acting out or performing poorly in school.

Family Violence And Child Custody In Illinois

Addressing family violence, getting the help you need, and leaving an abuser can prove challenging. It is important to know help is available and thinking of the potential effects it has on your children can provide the motivation you need. Obtaining a domestic violence restraining order in Illinois is often the first step. However, whether or not one is in place, you likely still have valid concerns about the abuser’s relationship with your children and their rights regarding custody.

Protecting the safety and best interests of children is a top priority with the courts. Under the Illinois divorce Statutes, accusations of family violence play a major role in child custody proceedings. Steps you can take to protect yourself, your rights as a parent, and your children in this situation include:

  • Report any incidents of family violence to the police.
  • Document your injuries and any property damage the abuser does.
  • Get yourself and your children to a safe place.
  • Enlist the support of family and friends.
  • Contact our Chicago child custody attorneys.

As Experienced Chicago Child Custody Attorneys, Gordon & Perlut, LLC. Is Here To Help

If you are experiencing family violence and have concerns about your own safety and that of your children, contact our experienced Chicago child custody attorneys at Gordon & Perlut, LLC. We act as a strong legal advocate on your side, helping to ensure you are protected. Reach out to our office and request a consultation today.